Records stores. Or, as somebody emphasised the other day, record shops – because this is not the US of A (we’re far too backwards for that). A couple of weeks ago I was busy soliciting your memories of stores and shops and blokes selling rare, bootlegged vinyl from a suitcase in car boot sales. All the entries were from UK people – you can tell by the bad teeth and slavish devotion to Erasure records when drunk – so if you’re from elsewhere and find the references a little too parochial, you’ve only got yourself to blame for not entering.
These three memory slices have won the author a copy of Moonbell’s excellent release, courtesy of Deep Space Recordings; every December I post LGM’s top ten albums of the year – if 2012 ended tomorrow, this record would certainly be included. Rewards are in the mail, guys. So without further ado…
1996. Hanging round Berwick Street, the street-scape from the cover of What’s The Story Morning Glory? Two stores two minutes apart; Sister Ray and Selectadisc. The former small but chic, a boutique, particularly excellent should you want every Bauhaus record. Every Nick Cave disc. Selectadisc was bigger, an exotic range of CDs you simply couldn’t get anywhere else. Hefty chucks of obscure electronica and Americana. A massive amount of hard-to-find indie that, before the internet, was a real hassle to hunt out, and I must have spent hundreds of pounds in there during my spell in London.
Last time I was on Berwick Street, Selectadisc had closed, and in its place was… Sister Ray – Wylder
My favourite store was a place called Carnival Records once located in Poole, sadly deceased a long time ago. Unfortunately, Poole is still there. It boasted a typical ramshackle appearance that once defined our everyday local shopping street. Every time you went by on the bus, it shouted out ‘look at me, it’s exciting in here, come spend ya £1.30 pocket money with me’. Then came along the Starbucks culture of pretend generic existence that has transformed our high streets into now empty HMVs. The merry-go-round will come by again – Ted, Edinburgh.
It’s seems bizarre now, but growing up in a small town, John Menzies was the record store of my early years. A shop selling pencil cases and magazines and overpriced books had, hidden away in a corner, the town’s go-to place for records and tapes (and eventually CDs, although they were kind of mysterious and far too pricey for us kids to buy). I bought Led Zeppelin 2 for about £5 back in the 1980’s, and still have it now. Hardly cool, but I used to love heading there every Saturday afternoon whenever my mum dragged me shopping – J, Norwich.
Moonbell / Parallel